We had never heard of Traverse City in Michigan until a friend suggested we go there. We even pronounced the name wrong; locals say Tra-verz rather than Tra-verse.
But after wonderful week exploring all it has to offer we will never forget it.
Traverse City can be found on Michigan’s lower peninsula which looks a bit like a left handed glove on the map. Locals will say Traverse City is in a nook right near the pinky finger, and the tip of that finger touches the waters of the Great Lakes which are huge bodies of freshwater that look like oceans.
As we drove into Traverse City we took a fast road that skirted these wide blue waters and turned off the black top into The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites where we would stay on our first night.
The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites has the sort of location other hotels envy. It fronts right on the main road leading into Traverse City’s downtown area and the back end has a private beach leading to the waters of Grand Traverse Bay.
The location gives a good balance between allowing you to get into town easily but also giving you the option of staying put. There are a few restaurants, bars and activities like mini-golf a short drive away, and the Inn’s very helpful front desk staff gave us a lot of local tips.
The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites doesn’t have an in-house restaurant but it does serve up an amazing breakfast for guests. There’s cereal, toast, bagels, fruit, yoghurt and a waffle making machine (Carmen gave it a bit of a thrashing!) and you can have as much as you like.
The breakfast room gets a little busy though, so make sure you get there early.
Also, if you fancy something sweet the Inn has a little nook selling ice cream, candy and other snacks 24 hours day.
The rooms are huge.
Ours was on the fifth floor in a Good Harbor Bay Studio and overlooked the Inn’s private beach on Grand Traverse Bay.
The natural wonders were given a run for their money by the colossal bed and Carmen’s favourite thing, a spa bath. The bathroom was spacious and had a strong shower and there was ample closet space.
There was also an annexe with a sink and a machine for making coffee and tea. The wifi signal was quite good and the room came with two televisions, one large flatscreen and a smaller one hooked up to a Playstation 2 for playing games and watching DVDs.
You could watch the TV from the bath, although you couldn’t manoeuvre it for a better angle.
The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites provides free coffee and tea at all times in room attached to the main lobby. There is also a huge book of DVDs and games there that we flicked through and chose something for a night in. The DVD hire is an extra small fee.
Down at the beach guests can swim in the lake or sun bathe next to the pool on loungers. We arrived just as the sun was setting so it was a little too cold for wild swimming but we jumped into the outdoor pool (there’s also a heated indoor pool).
There is a jacuzzi as well, and if you get hungry you can order a hamburger or hot dog straight off a grill sizzling away at the poolside.
What we liked at The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites
We really liked our room and wished we could have stayed a few more nights to get the most out of it, especially the spa bath. It was very heaven when we filled it up and sipped a few glasses of wine while watching a show on the huge TV.
What we didn’t like at The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites
The only fault we can think of is that the elevator was too slow and we couldn’t find the stairs!
Anything else you need to know
It depends on the time of year you book and what type of suite you select. We stayed in a Leelanau Suite which normally costs $374 a night.
2345 US 31 N
Traverse City, Michigan
Please note: We enjoyed one night’s complimentary accommodation at The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites. As always though, our opinions are our own.